Previous
Coin
Enlarge Zoom in
Gift of Lily Tomlin

Unknown
Greek, probably Pella, Macedonia, 286 - 281 B.C.
Silver

80.NH.152.36

Add to Getty Bookmarks

A portrait of Alexander the Great decorates the front of this four-drachma coin, a tetradrachm. The Greek goddess Athena appears on the back. Alexander is depicted wearing the ram's horns of Ammon, the great god of Egypt. The coin was not issued by Alexander, however, but by one of his successors, Lysimachos, who ruled the territory of Thrace in northern Greece after Alexander's death in 323 B.C. On the back, Lysimachos' high status is proclaimed by the Greek inscription "Basileus Lysimachou," meaning "of king Lysimachos." Athena, the warrior goddess of Athens, is shown seated, with her spear resting on her shoulder, and holding winged Victory (in Greek, Nike) in her hand.

The name Lysimachos means "one who ends strife," and it has been suggested that this may explain the peaceful, relaxed image of the goddess. The M-like symbol below the Victory is a recognized mark of the mint at Pella in Macedonia, where coins were first issued by Lysimachos no earlier than 286-285 B.C., and where this tetradrachm probably was produced. Lysimachos died in battle in 281 B.C.


Other Views

Back: Greek Goddess Athena
Back: Greek Goddess Athena